A Story from Niken

Hi everyone! My name is Niken (@nikenpriscilla). I am a final year BSc. Student, majoring in physics at the University of Melbourne and I am delighted to share about my passion.

Growing up, I always have huge curiosity and interest in understanding everything on a deeper level. I came across Carl Sagan’s Cosmos when I was around 15. His work incredibly touched my nerdy soul such that I was left in tears. To me, the idea that we are insignificant in the grandiose of the universe was very humbling and mesmerizing.

During my time in Foundation Studies, I decided to choose physics as my major. I was worried about my future employability, but many people supported me in pursuing this passion. So I followed through. Right before university, I received the Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship. And thus my physics journey started.

I quickly realized physics majors bring hard-work to a new level. I struggled in lectures and spend tremendous hours in decrypting and writing assignments. My confidence level declined steeply due to being around super smart and dedicated people all the time.

In spite of that, I didn’t stop learning. Through networking and cold-emailing professors, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at Melbourne Centre of Nanofabrication, the largest nanofabrication facility in Australia. I investigated the structure of nanoparticles and thin films to generate a transparent device that gives out different colours when illuminated through. The remarkable support I obtained from my supervisors led me to successfully produce the effect. I also got the chance to present my research to the Reserve Bank of Australia, University staffs and postgraduate students. I became more and more confident in myself.

My experience at ACEx also rekindled my passion for physics and sharpened my interest in nanotechnology. I can’t wait to do more exciting experiments, like the Summer Research Scholarship from Monash University this year on nanodiamonds! Hopefully, I will be able to continue my physics adventure in Master of Science next year.

I know there are many obstacles that we face daily as an international student. I hope my story could encourage you to pursue your passion, whatever it is. It’s a pleasure to share my love for physics and science, especially to my fellow Indonesians. If you have any young family members or friends that have similar interests, do not hesitate to reach out and let me know how I can help 🙂

Niken Priscilla, a final year Bachelor of Science student majoring in physics at the University of Melbourne.

Life in Melbourne: Music as a Getaway

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Naya (left) during her one and only concert in Melbourne.

Music has been one of my interests. I still remember how I convinced my parents to let me earn a Bachelor’s degree in music, but they kept rejecting this idea. Since it was not easy for a 16-year old me to envision my future career besides being a musician or performer, I thought there was nothing to plan for. So then, at that time I did not strive to achieve what teenagers my age typically dream of: To get accepted in one of the most prestigious state universities in Indonesia. Because I thought, as long as I still could find the way to play my instrument in my future college—wherever it would be, I would be fine.


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I am glad I have the opportunity to be an Indonesian Language Teaching Assistant (ILTA) in Curtin Primary School, Australian Capital Territory (ACT). This happens because of an MoU between Indonesian Embassy in Canberra and ACT Government. The Embassy in Canberra has to provide ILTAs for primary schools in ACT, and ACT Government helps to evaluate this cooperation each year by monitoring the activities and communication between ILTAs and Indonesian Language Teachers at schools.